Sly & Robbie

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About Sly & Robbie

Sly & Robbie were one of the most influential rhythm sections in Jamaican music, architects of popular trends in reggae, dub, and dancehall that became highly sought-after among international superstars such as Bob Dylan, Grace Jones, and No Doubt. Drummer Lowell Fillmore "Sly" Dunbar (born 1952) and bassist Robert Warren Dale Shakespeare (born 1953) met in Kingston, Jamaica, in the early ‘70s while working as session musicians. They bonded over a love of Motown, country music, and local pioneers like The Wailers, eventually partnering and earning acclaim for their work on Mighty Diamonds' 1976 LP, Right Time, which showcased their masterful grooves and innovative beatmaking. The pair launched their Taxi label shortly after, releasing a string of guest-filled albums like 1983's Sly & Robbie Turbo Charge, featuring reggae legends Black Uhuru and Jimmy Riley, as well as 1987's experimental Rhythm Killers, which explored funk and electronic dance music. They scored some of their biggest hits in the ‘90s alongside Chaka Demus & Pliers, reinterpreting Sister Nancy's “Bam Bam” and detonating a global sensation with “Murder She Wrote.” In their later years, Sly & Robbie remained prolific, earning a Grammy nomination for 2015's The Reggae Power and cementing their historic legacy before Shakespeare's passing in 2021.

Kingston, Jamaica
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